Froschauer's ILLUSTRATED “Zurich Bible” — Contemporary Binding
The Bible of the Swiss Reformation
Bible. Swiss German. Zurich. 1536. Die gantze Bibel, das ist alle Bücher allts vnnd neuws Testaments den ursprünglichen Spraachen nach auffs aller treüwlichest verteüschet. Darzu sind yetzund kom[m]en ein schön und volkom[m]en Register od[er] Zeyger über die gantzen Bibel. Die Jarzal vnnd Rächnung der Zeyten von Adamen biss an Christu mit sampt gwüssen Concordantzen, Argumenten, Zalen vn[nd] Figuren. Getruckt zü Zürich: Bey Christoffel Froschouer, 1536. Large folio (35.5 cm; 15" ). , 341, 317 ff., illus. (woodcuts); without the two blanks; two leaves in early pen and ink facsimile. [SOLD]
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While Luther was toiling to bring forth his German translation of the Bible, other Reformation figures were doing the same. In Zurich Zwingli completed a translation of the entire Bible five years before Luther: He did so by taking what Luther had published, modifying it to Swiss German, and then concentrating on translating the books of the Old Testament that Luther was still to work on. Such was the nature of the Zurich Bible, first published in 1529 in five volumes: Christoph Froschauer printed the first single-volume andgloriously illustrated edition of it in 1531 and this second, also-illustrated edition in that format in 1536. Many believe that the preface and summaries are from Zwingli's pen.
Both Froschauer productions are new editions over the earlier printings, with new translations of the books Job through the Song of Solomon, and, of course, the illustrations. The text is printed in gothic type, double-column format, with sidenotes and summaries in smaller type. The main and the sectional title-pages have their multi-compartmented woodcut bordersprinted strikingly in black and red. Curiously, the sectional title-page is notbefore the New Testament as usual, but before the book of Job!
The nearly 190 woodcuts include some which are ascribed by some to Holbein.
Both the 1531 and the 1536 editions are famous for their typography as well as their textual excellence and illustrations. Both are rare. Of the eleven copies of the 1536 that we found reported as owned by U.S. libraries, one seems to be lost, nine are incomplete in one way or another (lacking title-pages, one or many more leaves, or illustrations excised, etc.), and only one is presumed complete. Clearly, this is a work that one must settle for finding in less than an ideal copy. (A list of the eleven copies and their defects is available on request.)
Binding:Contemporary calf with metal corner pieces and center bosses, covers blind-embossed using rolls to form concentric compartments; leather spine straps with metal reinforcements, remnants of leather and metal closures.
VD16 B2701; Darlow & Moule 4196n; Reinitzer, Biblia deutsch, 124. Bound as above, binding with numerous wormholes not penetrating to the text. Text block without the two blank leaves and with two text leaves in early pen and ink facsimile; first six leaves loose until recently and now reattached to archival standards; a number of leaves with old repairs to margins left in place and others repaired to modern standards. Old water-, wax-, and other staining ranging from light to tea-colored, with none of it affecting the strength of the paper or the fact thatTHIS BIBLE IS IMPRESSIVE. (30965)